Source: Getty Images/ P. Kovarik
The passing of Karl Lagerfeld has left
everyone interested in high fashion shocked. “What’s gonna happen to Chanel and Fendi?” – people are asking on social media. There is no doubt that Lagerfeld changed the world of fashion, introducing some of the most controversial ideas at the same time staying loyal to Gabrielle Chanel’s legacy. Millions of people are still sharing their tributes on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, even though there’s plenty of people for whom paying tributes to Lagerfeld is an example of bad taste.
Not many people know that Karl Lagerfeldt, born in Hamburg, Germany in 1933, had dropped the “t” from his last name to make it sound more commercial. He taught himself English and French(which must have been hard in the era with no iPhones and internet), left home as a teenager and shortly after started working for Balmain and Chloe. Two brands that the legendary designer has always been most associated with are fashion giants Fendi and Chanel. In the high fashion world, we can often see big brands dropping their creative directors and replacing them(Alexander Wang only lasted, like, 2 years at Balenciaga and Raf Simons despite good reception about the same in Calvin Klein, just to give an example).* That’s why I think it’s impressive that Karl had stayed at Fendi for almost 55 years. His career at Chanel lasted almost 37 years.
I woke up in the morning and got a notification from the BBC News app. I went on Instagram and saw the black and white portrait of Karl posted by Vogue. Shortly after my friends started posting as well. It seemed like everyone was heartbroken. That’s the cheap, superficial aura of respect that dominates social media after the passing of any famous person. I have to admit, it made me feel a bit sad too. I care about the fashion industry and I’m aware of the level of sympathy a lot of stars shared for him, despite the controversy and criticism surrounding his persona(accusations of racism, Islamophobia, misogyny, popularising eating disorders and much more).
Usually, after someone’s passing our thoughts are with their loved ones. Karl Lagerfeld who died at the age of 85 wasn’t married or even in a publicly confirmed relationship with another… human person.
Choupette – Lagerfeld’s biggest love – was a gift from Baptiste Giabiconi, Lagerfeld’s favourite model(Karl made him the male face of all three brands he designed for – Chanel, Fendi and Karl Lagerfeld). Believe it or not, the charismatic kitten quickly became a celebrity – starting with a photoshoot for V Magazine, followed by the one for Brazilian Vogue. She has her own Twitter and Instagram accounts (over 262 000 followers on Instagram), modeled for car and make-up companies and according to Lagerfeld – earned over 3 million euros.
Sources describe Choupette as a “spoiled, cheeky but loving madam”. She likes using her iPad, eating at the table with Karl(sadly, not anymore), Collette handbags and her maid Francoise.
Choupette was one of the first to officially post on Instagram after Karl Lagerfeld’s death.
“Thank you everyone for your words of condolence. 😿 With a once cold but now simply broken heart, I am going into mourning. I pray that your kind words and well-wishes will help me to put my best paw forward in my future without Daddy @KarlLagerfeld & as my own woman.” said the famous cat.
After his death, Lagerfeld left Choupette, the cat he wanted to marry, the £150 billion fortune. It’s not yet clear how is it going to work…
Love is love (?)
*of course not all directors are fired, but let’s make it clear, most of them leave huge fashion houses and end up doing their own mediocre lines that don’t sell well. I don’t believe every single one of them is a fasting artist who just wanted to do their own niche thing!